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Ancelotti talks Rudiger, Tchouameni, Benzema, Bayern ahead of UEFA Super Cup



Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

In less than just over 24 hours, Real Madrid will take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup in Finland. Los Blancos have won the prestigious trophy four times, but a win tomorrow would see them take their tally on par with Barcelona and AC Milan.

The last time Los Blancos participated in the Super Cup was in 2018, when they lost 4-2 to Atletico Madrid in Estonia. Four years later, the team will look to change the result and come out on top.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press ahead of the awaited game and covered topics ranging from his thoughts on the opposition to the starting lineup on the night. Here are the snippets from the manager’s press conference as revealed on Real Madrid’s official social media handle.

The Italian coach first acknowledged the strength of his opponents on the night and revealed his thoughts on their Europa League win last season.

“Eintracht deserved to win the Europa League. They beat strong teams.”

Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the only top European clubs to win a sextuple in recent history. When asked about the possibility of Real Madrid winning all six titles this season, Ancelotti replied,

“It’s possible. We will fight for all the competitions. It’s gonna be very tough but we will try.”

The manager then spoke about the quality in the squad and was confident about pulling off a favourable result against Eintracht.

“I have faith in my team. We have a better squad now than last season.”

Despite being initially linked with over five world-class players in the transfer market, Los Blancos signed only Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger. Ancelotti spoke about the new additions in the squad and what was expected of them.

“We have signed two players who have improved our squad. Rudiger and Tchouameni bring quality and power to this team.”

Real Madrid’s pursuit of a new backup striker has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. However, the manager played down the rumours and elucidated that it was not a priority.

“He’s irreplaceable right now. But we have Rodrygo, Asensio and Hazard.”

Surprisingly, Ancelotti then revealed the starting lineup for the Super Cup clash and confirmed that the new signings would not be taking part.

“The team who won the Champions League will start tomorrow.”

The interview then proceeded towards the direction of his managerial career. Ancelotti did not hesitate to call the last season the best of his career before revealing the reason for the same.

“I think last season has been the best season of my career. I had never won the league and the Champions League together.”

Finally, the interview concluded with the Real Madrid manager’s thoughts on the opposition and their recent demolition by Bayern Munich.

“I watched the Eintracht game against Bayern. They’re a dynamic team that we know very well. To beat them you have to fight and fight.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?




Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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